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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 13, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PST

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my point is if you're investigating a foreign terrorist, knowing with whom that person is communicating helps your investigation. >> that wasn't my question. my question was, we're getting ready to maybe reauthorize 702. i don't think we should reauthorize it until we find out from the intelligence community where there are no indictments that have been issued against the intelligence community based on the statements you have made to see whether or not they're violating the law, and they refuse to give this committee the information about how many people have been caught up in that, and it's been stonewalled by the intelligence community saying, we just can't do it. why can't the intelligence community get some geek over at best buy and have them come in and answer that question with a few little taps into the big computer system? we just want the number. >> the time for the gentleman has expired. the witness may answer the question.
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>> i've heard detective coats answer this and he's better equipped than i. >> so we still don't know. thanks, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez, recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to ask you about sexual assault by the president of the united states of america. over the past few days, echoing previous allegations made against the president in the past several years, at least 16 women have come forward to say that the president of the united states felt them up, kissed them without permission, put his hands under their clothing without permission, groped them, touched their genitalia, walked into dressing rooms unannounced to see them naked and made other unwanted sexual advances that to everyone are clear violations of the law. now, i believe the women, and i generally give the women and their word a lot of weight.
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and when the him in question is donald trump, there really should be no further discussion, but as everybody, regardless of their political affiliations or partnership can clearly see, we have a man in the presidency who has a very difficult relationship with the truth. in this case we have women who were made to feel powerless and insignificant, who at great personal costs and risk, have come forward. i believe them. i do. al franken is resigning from the senate. and it goes no further than this committee where two senior members resign because women came forward and made credible claims. that just happened last week. and others right now are additional members of the body who are accused, credibly accused of misconduct. right now with the number two person in the justice department before a committee and sworn to tell the truth, i think it's important to get your opinion on whether there are grounds for a
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criminal investigation or an ethics investigation against the president of the united states of america. for example, rachel crooks is one of the 16 women that we know of who have come forward. she said that president trump, before he was president, quote, kissed me directly on the mouth. it was so inappropriate, he thought i was so insignificant that he could do that, end quote. jo hart, another one of the 16 women, said, quote, he groped me. he absolutely groped me. he just slipped his hand there, touching my private parts, end quote. these are just two examples of unwelcome sexual advances. i think were he on the subway or in a restaurant, would not either or both of these incidents be enough to get him arrested, in your experience as the number two most important law enforcement officer in the united states? but before you answer that, how about these cases. kristen anderson in an interview
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said, quote, the person on my right who, unbeknownst to me at the time put his hand under my skirt and touched my vagina through my underwear, end quote. and he continued to grope my ass and follow me to my hotel room, end quote. these are serious allegations of the president, are they not? before you answer the question, i think it's important to point out these stories are corroborated by the most important witness of all. the president himself corroborates this. he told tv host billy bush when he was miked up for an interview with "entertainment tonight," quote, i just start kissing them. it's like a magnet, just kiss. i don't even wait. when you're a star, they let you do it. you can do anything. you continue to grab them by -- and you know what he said. you can do anything, end quote.
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samantha holby said when she was a contestant in a beauty contest, trump would come una announce to unannounced to her dressing room. and he said, quote, before a show, i would go backstage, and everybody is getting dressed. no men are allowed anywhere, but i'm allowed because i'm the owner. and he went on to say that "the chicks would be almost naked, end quote. i see you as a law enforcement officer and i value your opinion on these matters. would it be appropriate for you to investigate these and other allegations of assault and unwanted sexual advances by the president of the united states? >> congressman, i am happy to take any questions regarding oversight of the department of justice or any other allegation that you think warrants investigation, i would invite you to submit the evidence and the department will review it.
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if you believe there is a federal crime, that applies to any alleged violation by any person, and that's all i have to say about that. >> but, mr. rosenstein, you're the number two top law enforcement officer in the nation. let me ask you, if a person on a train went and kissed a woman, is that a crime? >> if it's a federal train, it might be a federal crime, congressman. >> it's amtrak. >> i'm just not going to answer that. >> say it's amtrak. >> it won't be appropriate for me to answer. >> it wouldn't be appropriate? as a number two law enforcement officer, you don't think it's a crime for a woman to be on a train, be in a restaurant sitting, and a stranger, unwanted stranger, would come up to her and grope her and kiss her, that's not a crime? >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the witness may answer the question. >> i would have to know the facts and i would have to evaluate the law. i've never prosecuted a case like that in federal court,
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congressman. but if you have an allegation by any person at any time, you should feel free to submit it. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. marino, for five minutes. >> general, it's good to see you again. >> thank you. >> we did a lot of good work together over the years. >> yes. >> i'm proud to tell people i'm part of the justice department. i know your character, i know what kind of man you are, and i have the most confidence in you that you will direct that agency rule of law and to see that everything is aboveboard. 99.9% of the people that i worked with there are good, honeho honest law enforcement. i have the ultimate respect for them. they helped me in many cases,
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even when i was a d.a. i would like to ask you to clarify a procedure, and, first of all, would you tell me if i'm right here. special counsel is appointed by the attorney general, or under the circumstances, by you, and that special counsel reports to you. >> correct. >> am i correct in saying that an independent counsel is, again, appointed by the attorney general or you, but that counsel is independent and will not report to anyone in the essence of, can i do a, b or c, is that correct? >> under the counsel that lapsed in 1979, the appointment would be made by the federal judge. >> the a.d. wouldn't be involved at all? >> correct. >> i've been in many interviews with fbi agents, dea agents concerning potential cases.
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and what i've seen handled was aboveboard, but wouldn't you explain to us what a 302 is? >> a 302 is a form number for an interview report. after conducting an interview, an fbi agent would write a summary of an interview and we would refer to that as a 302. >> during an interview, whether it's done by attorneys or investigators at the department of justice or it's done back in my district in the middle of pennsylvania, at some point is there usually an assistant u.s. attorney present in those interviews? >> there's no rule against it, congressman, but typically not. i would say the majority of interviews would be conducted by two agents without a prosecutor.
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>> who makes the final determination on whether immunity is granted? is that by the u.s. attorney or the attorney at the justice department who could perhaps be handling that case? >> that's correct. it would be a prosecutor who would need to make that determination, and depending on what type of immunity, it might require a higher level of review. >> and before any immunity is given to anyone, whether it's absolute or not, we in law enforcement look for a proffer, is that correct, from an individual or their attorney? what are you going to tell us why we should give you immunity? >> we have a strong preference tore obtaining a proffer prior to obtaining immunity. >> i have never been in a situation, what perhaps it's not unique, where immunity has been given where there has not been a
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proffer. would that be an extreme unusual situation where someone would say, get their immunity but we have no idea what they're going to say. >> as a u.s. attorney, i had to approve formal immunity, and in the majority of cases there had to be a proffer. if there wasn't a proffer, i would simply ask why. i can't characterize what number of cases would fall into that category. >> any information that would be collected, laptops, things of that nature prior to an investigation, again, there would be a thorough investigation of that equipment before immunity would be given to someone? >> it would depend on the circumstances, congressman. we would have to make a determination on whether we believed what data might be relevant to the decision. >> we just don't give blanket immunity because someone asked for it, or just to get them in to talk? >> we should not give immunity
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just because someone asked for it, correct. >> that's all i have. thank you very much for being here, and i know you'll keep an eye on things and keep everything aboveboard. it's a pleasure to see you again. i yield back. >> likewise. thank you. >> thank you, gentlemen. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. deutsch. >> thank you, gentlemen, thank you for being here. there's been a lot of talk about dates and timelines. i would like to walk through as a benefit to my colleagues just a short timeline for this year. in january the nsa concluded the following, and i quote, we assess vladimir putin issued a campaign in 2016 aimed at the u.s. presidential election. russian goals were to undermine the faith in the election process, undermine hillary clinton and her capability. the russian government made a clear presence for president trump, closed quote. do you have any reason to dispute that? >> no. >> in january -- also in january, january 24th, michael
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flynn denied to the fbi agents that he discussed u.s. sanctions with russia before he took office. on january 26th, acting attorney general sally yates told the u.s. counsel that he denied his relationship with kislyak. on february 18th this year, flynn resigned because of his conversations with the vice president. telephone reports of phone records that show members of the trump campaign and trump associates had repeated contacts with senior intelligence officials in the year before the election. on march 16th, documents released by representative cummings showed that flynn received $37,750 from russian tv for a speech he made in moscow. on march 20th, the fbi director identified a relation between the trump campaign and russia. on may 9, the president fired the fbi director. on may 10, the president met in the white house and said he
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fired the fbi director, called him a nut job and said, quote, i face great pressure because of russia. that's taken off, closed quote. the nbc news said the thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. on june 7, we know trump urged comey to drop the flynn investigation. we know that an undisclosed meeting at trump tower with paul manafort and a russian lawyer. the next day five sources said donald trump agreed to the meeting on the premise that damage on hillary clinton would be provided. and five days after that, a veteran of the russian military, we learned also, attempted that trump tower meeting with donald trump jr., paul manafort and jared kushner. on july 5, papadopoulos, one of the five people identified as a press adviser, pleaded guilty to a false statement made on january 27 about the time and extent of relationships and
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interactions with foreign nationals. in a statement of offense, we learned he reached over regarding his connections, that he could arrange a meeting between trump and putin. campaign adviser paul manafort and rick davis were indicted on multiple counts, including conspiracy in the united states. in november the president of the united states met with vladimir putin, and i said, quo, he said he didn't meddle. every time he sees me, he tells me, i didn't do that. i believe that. when he tells me that, he means it. the president went on, give me a break, talking about the national security folks that put together that report i quoted earlier. give me a break, they are political hacks. on december 1st, he pled guilty about making a false statement to the fbi on sanctions. this is a little walk-through what happened over the past year. i would like to ask you, mr.
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rosenstein, i'd like to quote some of my colleagues from this committee. one of them said the special counsel's investigation into whether the trump campaign assisted in its effort to interfere in the election is actually an attempt to overthrow the government of the united states. do you believe that, mr. rosenstein? >> no. >> he said we're at risk of a coup de tate here. is the president held accountable? >> no, he is not held accountable. >> is there oversight by the special counsel? >> there is oversight. >> if we allow no oversight to undermine duly the president of the united states, is pursuing a law undermining the president of the united states, mr. rosenstein? >> no, it is not. >> one of my other colleagues said, we got to clean this town up. he was talking about firing mr. mueller. mueller had a ven did he tell ta because he fired mr. romey.
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do you belie i would conclude that this little walk-through, this one year in american history, makes it impossible to understand how it is my colleagues on the other side continue to watch attacks not only against reporters, against the fbi, against the special counsel, but they do so to throw dirt on this story, to make it try to go away. they may want to bury their heads in the sand, but mr. chairman, i want to make clear that they will not bury the rule of law in the united states of america, and i yield back. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy. >> and good day, i'm andrea mitchell in new york. we've been watching the how else judiciary committee hearing with deputy attorney general rod rose stein. pete williams joins me now. he is being probed by intelligence committee on whether there is conflict of interest or bias or any other
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issues involving that probe. and he's been pushing back very strongly. do you want to recap it? >> he's generally been, without getting into specifics, defending mueller's investigation. he says he's seen no good cause to fire mueller, that he's not aware of any impropriety in the special counsel's investigation. he also said he's had no orders from president trump or anyone else to fire mueller. and he says there's been no indication that trump has asked him to remove mueller or to initiate any specific investigations. a lot of the questions today, andrea, are about previously known but not known in detail text messages exchanged between an fbi agent who was working on the mueller team and was dismissed by mueller in july, and an fbi lawyer who also worked briefly on the mueller investigation. the bulk of those texts are highly critical of donald trump and also praises hillary clinton. so the question has been, did that mean that there was bias in
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the investigation. what mr. rosenstein has said here is that there is a difference between expressing political views and bias in the investigation. he says he and mueller have is talked about this and have tried to make sure everybody is behaving properly. the same question has arisen not just at this hearing but hearings before. many republicans on the committee concerned that several, about nine, of the lawyers who are working for robert mueller have contributed to democratic causes in the past, either the obama or clinton campaigns or the democratic party in general, and rosenstein again has given a similar answer there. >> thanks so much, pete williams. we'll continue to monitor this and return to live coverage when warranted. now, of course, the latest reaction to an historic election in alabama where doug jones became the first alabama democrat elected to the senate in 25 years. a stunning victory that seemed unthinkable only a few weeks ago. but the sexual misconduct
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allegations against roy moore first revealed by the "washington post" caught fire, energizing democrats and raising doubts among some republican women about moore's qualifications for office. today president trump is trying to explain the two candidates he endorsed for this seat in the republican primary and now the general election both lost. a huge defeat for the white house and for steve bannon. >> folks, i got to tell you, i think that i have been waiting all my life and now i just don't know what the hell to say. >> i realize when the vote is this close that it's not over. and we still got to go by the rules about this recount provision. and that's what we've got to do, is wait on god and let this process play out. >> huge turnout yesterday, and that's because the democrats hustled. >> every republican in the country this morning needs a wake-up and fear for their political lives. >> strange to say from my side
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of the aisle, but i thought it was a great night for america. >> i think probably some of the happiest people in america, the republicans and the senate. >> senator cory booker joins me now who campaigned for doug jones. first of all, senator, this is an historic election, clearly, and there was a very high african-american turnout. 29% according to exit polls. to what do yuo you attribute do jones' history? is it because roy moore was a damaged candidate? >> there are many people who should feel good about themselves, most importantly alabamans. they were the insti gatgators, were the drivers. i spent a lot of time in the field, visiting churches, visiting college campuses. this was a grassroots effort by a lot of folks that were working on the field not just for weeks, but for months, even before
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these allegations came out. when i was down there, i was calling back to people in the senate and telling them this is not a campaign, this has a movement feel to it. so i give a lot of praise to the people that really poured their heart, energy and soul into this election. but i do want to say this isn't a left-right election. there are a lot of republicans that defected because they knew this wasn't about left or right, this was about right or wrong. that was something that was very affirming to me. there's got to be a level of decency in this country that i know is our nation, is america. and this was a choice between someone who is about bigotry, about hate, about mysogeny, that was violating the rule of law. his career is a stain on the ideals that we hold precious, and so many republicans rejected that, including my colleague, richard shelby, who has a profile of courage for him to come out days before the election as strongly as he did. so this is a moment that i feel this institution, the senate, has been protecting, but more
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importantly, the values of america have been affirmed in the state of alabama, and everyone in that state should feel very proud about themselves. >> the allegations against roy moore, including the allegation from lee coffman, who was 14 years old at the time that she claims that he had inappropriate contact with her, which was basically child molestation, those were much more extreme than the allegations against your colleague al franken. so if we're in the middle of a revolution here on standards, what are the rules? was it appropriate for al franken to be basically fired from his entire political career based on the groping allegations? >> well, there were behaviors that just cannot be acceptable in our country anymore, and clearly there are courts' rules, due process. but what are our societal standards? i'm one of these people that says all of us should be accepting responsibility for allowing a climate in our country where millions and
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millions of women have had to endure these despicable conditions, realities at their workplaces from diners to office spaces to the halls of power. and we should not tolerate that anymore. and that's really, i think, where we are. this is a very important purge and demanding that nothing ever goes back to normal, that we create a new normal. you're right to make distinctions. i think it's important to ask about the behavior of individuals. clearly al franken did the right thing, but this really does cast a shadow on those people like the president of the united states, who has had more compelling fact patterns against him and his behavior. it is despicable. it is unacceptable in american society and something that we should reject. the president of the united states should examine what's going on right now and should do the right thing himself and resign. >> well, the other argument, the counter-argument from the white house is that the voters had all
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those facts in front of them after the "access hollywood" tape, and they elected him, anyway. >> again, i think what we need to understand here is that we are in a new time in american history where we now understand rightfully, there is a movement afoot, that this is not tolerable in the united states of america right now. and i understand that argument. i hear that argument but i don't accept that argument. the argument is we have a clear and compelling fact pattern that the president of the united states has habitually sexually harassed people, we have a dozen of those stories, has bragged about it. literally told us what he did like walking in on pageant contestants while they were in a significant state of undress. these things are disgusting, these things are unacceptable in american society, and there should be more voices calling out for the president to resign. >> is the new standard a zero
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tolerance standard including allegations such as the final ones against franken. zero tolerance including anonymous allegations of behavior before someone is elected to politics or a position of office. >> when you say allegations, clearly as a man who has worked in justice reform, who has seen false allegations made and trumped-up charged and people be wrongly convicted, i firmly believe there should be due prot process. but we also have a place in this country where women have not been believed or listened to. you should evaluate the cases and there should be some kind of process. but when it comes to the president of the united states, come on, there are clear and
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compelling evidence. there is a president himself speaking towards doing this behavior. there are over a dozen women that have come forward. and so that's why i have such -- i was in pain the day i listened to al franken's remarks, because he was right when he talked about the irony of what he is doing, the right thing, and stepping down from his position voluntarily and then you have a president of the united states sitting there where there is a message being sent to americans, to young men, to young women that the highest office in the land, a guy sitting there, can get away with doing this behavior. i find that utterly unacceptable. we've gotten to a point in america and other areas of bad behavior that we wouldn't accept it. we wouldn't accept if a dozen people came guaforward and said this person has called me the n word over time.
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but somewhere in the mysogeny of sexual harrassment, we seem to have a level of tolerance in this country, and i refuse to accept that. especially knowing the damage that's done as a former mayor about domestic violence, rape in this country, sexual assault in this country, the pervasiveness of it. this has got to stop. we can't be a nation that to tolerates this level of violence, of harassment. millions of women have these truthful stories about their experiences. >> senator cory booker, thank you so much for being with us today. >> thank you. and to the white house which has been responding to all of this. we have breaking news from the white house. kristen welker is there. kristen? >> reporter: andrea, a little bit of breaking news on tax reform, in fact, which, of course, the scope of that has been changed in the wake of that alabama senate race. white house officials hoping that that defeat of roy moore overnight will add urgency to
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republicans to act on the tax bill. according to our own peter alexander, a white house official confirms that house and senate leaders have reached an agreement in principle on their sweeping taxes. they're hoping to have a vote in the senate first, then the house with the bill finished ultimately by wednesday. now, that is an ambitious timeline, and i want to stress the fact that this is a deal in principle. so that means that it's not quite across the finish line yet. we know that the president is having lunch with a bicameral group of lawmakers from the senate and the house. he's trying to lay down the final details, andrea, and a group of reporters have just been called back. hopefully we'll get a bit more information on what specifically this deal entails. we know that the broad outlines include lowering the corporate tax rate as well as limiting the number of tax brackets. there was some real concern, though, that this could not only hurt the middle class but
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ultimately add to the deficit. those are issues they're trying to hammer out and fix. meanwhile, andrea, this obviously again goes against the backdrop of that stinging defeat for the republican party in alabama overnight. president trump trying to save face way lot of finger pointing here behind the scenes. he tweeted earlier today, if last night's election proved anything, it proved that we need to put up great republican candidates to increase the razor-thin margins in the house and the senate. he also said he did not back roy moore early in the primary. this was steve bannon, andrea, sigh lot of people are pointing fingers at steve bannon saying he is a wave of the establishment. he has been asked to drop this war against the establishment. he's not going to do that. bannon says he's just getting started with that war. the communications director has
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departed. we're trying to nail down what is specifically behind her departure, andrea. >> and of course the msnbc contributor is reporting that she, in fact, was let go, fired by john kelly yesterday, and so they're putting out that she is leaving on her own but, in fact, this is another white house firing staff shake-up from the new chief of staff. kristen? >> reporter: andrea, there have been a number of high-level departures in the presidency. this certainly adds to it. omarosa was undoubtedly one of the most well-known top officials in the administration. she was a former "apprentice" star from the president's tv show. she was in charge of the
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african-american community. she came up with more funding for the black community. she was a part of the civil rights rally in jackson. i heard she was on her way out, so it would stand to reason that at least some people here are surprised by this departure. and andrea, as you point out, there was reporting that she, in fact, was reported by chief of staff john kelly who came to office and essentially said he's going to clean house. he was behind the oes tster of e b bannon. joining me now is political analyst michael steele, nbc senior political editor mark murray and robert costa,
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moderator of "washington week" on pbs. just to drill down on the tax package, we know that the house and senate had different packages, but do we know where they ended up in terms of the corporate rate and the individual rates? they were talking about moving up to 21% corporate rate to try to get a little bit more revenue because they had spent so much money elsewhere and also lowering the individual rates? not sure where they had the money to do that, up against this ceiling of $1.5 trillion deficit in order to get it past with only 50 votes, not 60 votes. that's been the framework of the budget act. robert? >> andrea, here at the capitol, details have yet to emerge, but it is clear talking to lawmakers on both sides of the capitol that a deal has emerged. it's a handshake deal. lawmakers cautioned me in the last hour that they still need to hammer out some of these details about the corporate rate, rate for high-income households over the coming weeks. what they want to do in the wake of alabama, they tell me, is
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come up with some sort of handshake agreement to move this to the floor, because doug jones is going to be sworn in, and they want to move before then. >> when we talk about this tax bill, mitch mcconnell was saying over the weekend on the talk shows, well, we've had many hearings. well, in fact, they haven't had hearings chl hearings. they've had markups, which aren't hearings. this is the fastest i've seen this kind of legislation this big. michael steele, what about rushing this through conference this quickly, a handshake deal? we still don't know what's in it. >> we don't know what's in it and we're doing exactly what we criticized democrats doing with obamacare. the difference is that was a real process. it was a lot of time in which that was vetted out, and republicans were balking at that process at the time. so this stands as a stark relief as something that is outside of the normal, you know, process. everyone is talking about regular order. we want to do this the right
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way. you have leadership talking about, we've been doing this for four years. no, you vant, and the american people know that. at the end of the day, they're going to rush through a bill because now they've lost a seat in alabama. they definitely don't want to do this with jones coming in the door to have a vote. they want to get it done, they want to get it to the president's desk so they can slap each other on the back and say, look what we did. let's go win elections next year. unfortunately, the american people, i'm afraid, are paying a lot of attention to this and the numbers don't add up. a lot of folks are will realize those tax cuts go away after a certain period of time. they're permanent for corporations, they're not permanent for individuals and the middle class, and i think it's going to be a hard sell to the american people next year. >> and mark murray, master of all things politics, our deputy political director, let's talk about what people really want. the republicans now will be able to say, assuming they've got the votes to pass this, that they
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passed something for christmas. the president will go on social media. it will be extolled as the middle class tax package, but all the data we've seen, talking to independent analysts at the committee for federal budget, is that it's not a middle class tax package at all. >> andrea, even despite that policy debate, you look at what happened in alabama last night and passing potential tax legislation i don't think ends up impacting at all what the midterm environment looks like, which is already really baked in, andrea. if you want to look through some of the exit polls that happened in alabama of all places, we're not talking virginia, but in alabama, you look at the coalition for doug jones. he ended up winning 96% of african-american voters. 7 in 10 moderates. you had 6 of 10 who were under 45 and then 57% of women.
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and andrea, i'll just point to looking at how president trump fared in alabama, his approval rating was split 47% approve, 47% disapprove, but when you break those numbers in intensity factor, you see 43% disapproved against those who strongly approved. in alabama that is a rough number for republicans going into the midterms regardless of whether they pass this tax legislation or not. >> vaughn is down in alabama. vaughn, i was struck by the fact that doug jones went with his victory announcement last night was talking about economic issues. talking about the sort of kitchen table issues that many people feel the democrats failed to communicate in the 2016 campaign. >> andrea, he tried to take the approach in this campaign over the last month, despite attempts to essentially prod him on different issues outside of those whatever -- he calls them kitchen table issues. health care, education, the
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economy. he stayed focused on those messages, saying that not only did it play towards the white population in alabama, but he said also to african-americans here. african-americans turned out -- made up 30% of the electorate yesterday. at one point -- tuscaloosa county, i think, is worth looking at with the university of alabama. it's a conservative place, but doug jones went there last sunday. he was at nine different churches in the area. at his office they were canvassing, phone baking. they were targeting those african-american voters because they believed they could turn them out. it was enough to cauterize. i was talking to an accountant in tuscaloosa and he said there was two factors in play. he said, yes, there was frustration with president trump and roy moore. the comments last week that were
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made public about the family's ties were stronger back in slavery. but doug jones made a play for black voters on radio, he went into churches, he talked about issues that were important to them on social media. he made an effort unlike they saw a year ago with hillary clinton to actually gallon vannize ava -- gallon vannigalvanize and give a reason to come out. >> when we talk about the tax package, is that enough for the republican party? can't they describe it any way they want, especially the president, in speeches and social media? >> they will describe it all kinds of ways. you're absolutely right, the full impact of that or even just the beginning impact of it won't be felt until you get into 2019, for example. so they're going to make the noise about the tax package and it's not going to be -- i think to mark's point, it's not going to be an offset for the
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underlying rot, if you will, that is occurring within the gop on race, with women, sexual harrassment, the types of candidates that we've endorsed. remember, steve bannon is still out there talking about a war on the leadership. donald trump isn't backing away from that. he may say, roy moore wasn't my candidate. yes, he was. he was your candidate. i've got the robocall to prove it. you can say what you want to say, you can lie as much as you want, but the facts are still what they are for a lot of voters out there, that they're looking at the gop now, not suspiciously, but with a sense of, we don't want to be a part of that. and that's a problem for the parties. a long way from where we were when i was chairman back in 2010. the ground that we've lost here could be incalcable for the rnc and the gop next year. >> robert costa, what is reaction inside the white house? do they realize just how bad this defeat was, that no matter
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what they do on taxes, they'll have a real midterm problem? is there a big blame game going on as to who dragged the president back into this with the robocalls and the speech in pensacola last friday night? >> they're well aware of the steaks stakes in alabama and there are two fronts they're talking about. they say one, a 69-49, it makes it more difficult to pass legislation in 2018. it's going to be harder to jig up interest. and the other issue is a party that's bringing up issues of sexual harrassment and the allegations against president trump. he was able to win elections last year, in spite of those allegations against them, but now those allegations are again at the fore of our national conversation, and they're grappling with that challenge. >> thanks so much, robert costa, michael steele. stay with us. we'll be right back. more on the big breaking news that there is an agreement, a handshake, at least, with the
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finance chairman orren hatch confirming that there is an agreement on taxes between the house and senate and votes are being scheduled for next week in both houses, including presumably final passage. we'll be right back. [ mouse clicking ] [ keyboard clacking ] [ mouse clicking ] [ keyboard clacking ] ♪ good questions lead to good answers. our advisors can help you find both. talk to one today and see why we're bullish on the future. yours. talk to one today and see why we're bullish on the future. but he hasoke up wwork to do.in. so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong.
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and with continuing breaking news, joining us now msnbc capitol hill news correspondent kasie hunt on the agreement between house and senate on taxes. out of breath with all the news
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today. tell us if you have any details at all on schedule, on content, what's in it, we don't know. when will the votes be? >> reporter: andrea, we're still getting a sense we know that this is a deal that's been made in principle, that both the house and senate agree with this. we're accepting a statement from kevin brady, chairman of the ways and means committee, confirming this deal has been reached and reporting from the white house that this is the case. we're still learning about the details about what's in it. we have a general idea of kind of where the problem areas were. they've been talking about where to set the corporate rate, perhaps 21%. how to handle pass-through businesses and other things. we're going to look for that statement for all the finalized details as this unfolds today. but this does come out, this
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news broke before that public conference meeting that's supposed to happen this afternoon and before the lunch at the white house with the president and these conferees. i think there was a little frustration that this came out before they took that public step to kind of show they were having these negotiations, but the reality is for most conference committees, the work rarely takes place around a table that the public gets a glimpse of. this is a lot of force trading kind of behind the scenes. how this plays out next, the thinking is that the senate would vote first on this, and our initial thinking had been that would happen early next week, probably monday. it's not clear they would have is time to get this finished this week on the senate side with other business and requirements about the bill being posted publicly for 48 hours. so we're still checking in with leadership to see if there's been any change on that front. but if they proceed as planned, they would go take this deal to the senate floor likely on monday, and that would set up a vote in the house later in the week, and this, of course, all
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sets them up to send the bill to the president before christmas. right now they are scheduled to be here next week. they have to reach a spending deal of some kind, even if it's a short-term one, before the end of the week, next friday, december 22nd. that's when funding runs out. the following sunday is christmas eve, christmas day on monday. that's when the president has said he's going to sign this tax bill. he said it's a christmas present for the american people. democratic leader chuck schumer said this morning that because of the results in alabama, republicans should hold off. they should wait until jones sable to is able to be seated before this vote is held. that's what nick brown called for in massachusetts as some were comparing what happened in alabama last night. so far there is no indication that mcconnell is going to slow down this process. it looks like a massive rewrite of our tax code. it's going to affect every
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american business, every american family likely to be done before christmas. >> the question is, is it a christmas gift or a lump of coal in people's stockings? that remains to be seen. bring us up to date on the players involved. we know mark dayton, the minnesota governor, appointed an al franken replacement who will have to run in 2018. did i lose kasie? >> i apologize. go ahead. i'm still here. >> my question is, who is on first? okay, so a new minnesota senator has been named but not sworn in yet. al franken has said he's resigning but has not physically left. but the big unknown is doug jones, which would be a flip of a seat and one fewer republican, and it's very clear to you, i would assume, that mitch mcconnell is not going to let him be sworn in in time to vote on the tax bill. >> reporter: well, and that was the thinking in the event that
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roy moore -- >> right. >> -- right. exactly. and that's not a departure from what they were saying before this, regardless of who had actually won this seat. they were planning on, assuming, and mcconnell said on tuesday, planning to vote with luther strange in office through the end of this session. so, you know, to a certain extent, that's not a surprise or a change. there, of course, was one republican who voted against this before, senator corker, because of concerns about the deficit. once jones is seated, he'll only have that one seat to lose. he's been this a position where he could lose two votes and then bring mike pence up here to cast the tiebreaking vote and still pass legislation. so, in theory, they could still pass the tax bill even with jones seated. however, there have been some questions about senator susan collins, for example, is she getting what she wants in this bill? she seems to still be on board with it, but has also said if the negotiations don't go the
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way she wants them to, rerese h reresefshs the right to vote against it. it makes it a riskier proposition. democrats would argue the longest this tax bill is out in the open, the more people will be able to poke holes at it, the more the polling might matter more in the national debate. so far we just haven't seen the mobilization against this that we saw around health care. you combine that with the republican desire to get this done there a political perspective. here we are with them pushing this through to the end of the year. again, i would be -- i would be shocked if mitch mcconnell delayed this bill past the end of the year. andrea? >> thanks so much, kasie. if you can stand by, we'll bring back msnbc political analyst, former republican national chairman michael steele, msnbc political editor mark murray, washington post national political reporter robert costa, moderator of "washington week" on pbs and joining us, yameesh. i wanted to ask you about a
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departure from the white house staff, a pretty significant one, omarosa claiming she's leaving, it will be a year, but your reporting is she was really fired by the chief of staff. >> there are sources that are very familiar with this departure who have said she was let go. that general kelly moved to essentially say that she should no longer be working at the white house. but there are also sources very close to her saying she's telling people that she was -- that she left voluntarily. they say she always wanted to leave after a year. that the president's comments on charlottesville and other things have really made her have a lot of criticism. she has faced a lot of booing crowds and hissing and she wanted to leave because the job got too hard. whatever it s the idea is that omarosa is someone who was seen as polarizing, seen as someone others in the white house didn't like but someone president trump really liked. he gave her a good salary. he gave her access to the white house and access to his office before general kelly shut that
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down and shut her out and a couple other people out. so, there's this idea that president trump would have to, i think, have been involved in these talks for her to leave. as a reporter, i'm finding it kind of hard she would have been completely ousted without president trump talking to her because of their relationship that goes back to "the apprentice". >> robert costa, from your reporting as well, this is another sign of general kelly sort of not only cleaning house but also trying to establish some discipline in this white house. >> omarosa was a confidante. she was a confidante of president trump going back to her time on reality television. she is indicative of a trend within trump's inner circle. the president has seen some of his confidantes and allies from his business days, the campaign days, fade away as the presidency has unfolded. not necessarily for personal anamous or problems, but general kelly installed a new order inside the west wing. if you defer from that order at
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all, you're at risk of being urged to go to the door or maybe you just start to rethink your own job. >> and mark murray, if you're still there, we understand that the pool is about to come out. that they did get a couple of questions to the president. the president was meeting with the confer. >> dickey: conferees from both houses and we'll get it and play it in full coming up that he's happy with the agreement. didn't indicate which way they're going on those rates, at least we don't know that. when asked about the results in alabama, said that he's okay with it because some republicans are okay with it. this despite the fact that he was very aggressive in his late endorsement and campaigning across the border in florida. and robo calling on behalf of roy moore. this is two defeats for him in the primary and the general with two different candidates in the same senate race. >> absolutely, andrea. you think about the beginning of the trump presidency.
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there was good news for the republican party. you ended up looking at their win in that georgia congressional special election where the republicans ended up winning. they won in montana, won in kansas, won in south carolina. there was this sense of president trump is bulletproof in a lot of these contests. what we ended up seeing last month in virginia, last month in new jersey and certainly the really bombshell result last night in alabama, and this is a president who is now on a losing streak. but when i look at the totality of all of these races, andrea, starting with that georgia race onto alabama and you ended up saying democrats are overperforming, they did in 2016, the most recent election, and that congressional district or in that state. to me that all ends up creating the signs of what is likely to be a big way in 2018 for democrats. that doesn't mean it's a guarantee democrats are going to take back the house or even the united states senate. but if you ended up holding those midterm elections tomorrow, democrats would have a pretty good night given
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everything that we've seen across the country this year. >> and before we get that tape rolled by the tv pool, just want to recap something reported by the associated press on the details of the rates that have been set. michael steele, follow me here. the corporate rate, 21%, not the 20% the president asked for, not the 22% some suggested to bring that deficit down. the personal rate, the top rate going from 39.6% to 37%. this is good for the wealthiest americans. and among the tax breaks, they agreed that homeowners can deduct interest on the first $750,000 of a new mortgage. that's down from the current rate of $1 million. but still it looks like no benefit at all on the state and local taxes. so, that is sort of a summary. we're about 15 seconds away from seeing this video from the president. michael steele, some final thoughts there? >> real quick on that, i still think the state and local tax issue is going to be a big one for those big states that also
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have republican governors. >> and here's the president. >> well, thank you very much. we appreciate it. and i'll be also speaking at 3:00 today. a little bit more about what's happening with this incredible journey and what we're doing with regard to bringing down taxes, the largest tax cut ever. but i appreciate you being here today. i want to thank the incredible members of the house and senate who have been working so hard. we're very, very close to an historic legislative victory. the likes of which rarely has this country seen. i think i can say, kevin, and orrin, we're getting very close. i know a lot of the folks that we'd like to have here, we said if you have your choice, stay back and get it done, right? they're all working and negotiating some final points, but we're very, very close. this bill is vital to the american people for many reasons. first of all, it's going to have a tax cut, the likes of which we
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haven't seen for not only business but for the working families of our country. it's really a tax cut based on jobs and based -- and also very good for companies which also means jobs. the typical family of four earning $75,000 will see an income tax cut of $2,000. so, that's $2,000 in their pocket additional to spend on whatever they want to spend, or they could save their money also. in the old days, they saved money. but they will be saving it in many cases. second, the bill is going to cut taxes for american businesses, both big ones and small ones. so that they can grow higher and compete all around the world. right now they're paying 35%. that's the highest in the industrialized world. many cases by far. and we'll be bringing that down to a number that will be extremely impressive to a lot of people. i don't think i'll give them the surprise yet, kevin. you may be able to hold the
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surprise. i think you'll be very happy with it. i think the businesses will be very happy. and we'll be able to compete all over the world. third, we're simplifying our broken system. it's so complicated that nobody can figure it out. tax returns that are very, very big and large and they have to go out and higher companies to do them. so, we're fixing the system. finally, the plan's going to bring trillions of dollars back into the united states, money that's offshore. and you've been hearing me say $2.5 trillion for years. well, the $2.5 has grown and it's going to be a lot more than that. probably $4 trillion. could be higher than that. it's so much money, we don't even know how much it is. you look at the great companies, apple and so many others, they have billions of dollars overseas that they want to bring back. now they'll be able to bring it back. and we'll be spending that money and they'll be spending that money right here and it will be jobs and lots of other good things. while the media has focused on the differences between the
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house and the senate bills, i can only tell you that we have very, very talented representatives right here. and i think i can say, orrin, that we're very close, right? >> we're very, very close. >> we'll get it done. >> i want to thank senator orrin hatch. he's been incredible. and kevin brady, incredible. you guys have just been really, really amazing. although i should say that when we sign. we've been there too many times. let's get the vote first, right? i want to thank my whole team, gary and steve and everybody, the whole team has been really something special. and diane, thank you very much for everything. we appreciate it. >> you're welcome. >> so, we're very close to getting it done. we're very close to voting. and our economy, as you know, has surged from where it is when i took it over. we were having an economy that was going in the wrong direction. they can say all they want about the last administration or even administrations. this country was going

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